I decided to assess what I see for 3 gaming regions. The regions are Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Everything that I hypothesis is based on COVID 19 levels. The CDC has projected a rise in cases this fall. The cold and flu season is approaching and will impact the public willingness to convene in crowded venues.
I will focus on the major cities in each of the regions. Las Vegas will still be slow to move toward recovery. Airline flights are still under capacity with extremely limited international passengers. All major convention business has been scrapped for this year. There is talk of some concerts being scheduled in show rooms. Usher is planning a residency performance in 2021 at Caesars Palace. There are tremendous deals on room rates during the week that may tempt you to fly out for a three day - two-night getaway.
Atlantic City is still one of the top ten trip destinations in the United States according to Trip Adviser. The casinos just received a boost with the return of dine in restaurant service. Casino restaurants, like every other restaurant, must observe the many restrictions put into place including 25% percent capacity, tables spaced 6 feet apart, patrons required to wear masks while not eating or drinking. This will entice visitors to come to the shore during the months of September thru November. The price of gas is relatively low and will motivate patrons to take a drive to America’s greatest playground. I would strongly suggest having a reservation if you are dining. Atlantic City is allowing the resumption of smoking on the casino floor. This is not in the best interest of the employees and patrons at the casinos. It allows the shore to offer something that will bring in additional revenue. The risk does not appear to be worth it.
Philly has also extended the amenities to include food. This is consistent with the casinos that are operating outside of Philadelphia County. 24-hour gaming is going to return on September 18. The casinos have beefed up their efforts to keep the facilities clean and have maintain temperature check policy that protects the guests and the employees. An increase of deep cleaning and disinfecting the front and back of house areas is already underway. When the capacity levels are increased to accommodate more guests, the challenge the casinos will face will be staffing. If the capacity level were increased to 40-50% by October 31, that would be a treat. Lastly, Poker should be revisited and opened with a limitation on the amount of people allowed at a table. Other modifications should include no smoking, changing cards frequently and online reservations during peak times of play.
My view is this week's Monday Motivation of optimism. The gaming industry will return to profitable levels in convenience and urban markets quicker than the resort areas. All operators must find ways to create the environment that places safety first while providing an exceptional entertainment experience. The opinions expressed are my own. The creativity I shared is to inform you of what can be accomplished during difficult circumstances.